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BBC World News America

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00:30:00

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America 5, Nelson Mandela 4, Bbc News 4, Afghanistan 3, Mahmoud Abbas 3, Connecticut 3, Cairo 3, Damascus 3, New York 3, Syria 2, Pbs 2, Washington 2, Vatican 2, Italy 2, Egypt 2, Jerusalem 2, North Korea 2, Europe 2, China 2, Bethlehem 2,
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  PBS    BBC World News America    News/Business. U.S.-targeted  
   nightly newscast. (CC) (Stereo)  

    December 24, 2012
    4:00 - 4:30pm PST  

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indian prime minister urges for restraint concerning sex crimes against women. and south africa continues to pray for its president. hello there. it is one minute past midnight in bethlehem, where midnight mass has just begun at the church of the nativity. it is the site where christians believe jesus was born, and as always got thousands of pilgrims from all of the world have flocked to manger square. this is being beamed right around the world on television. this is a particularly important christmas celebration for the west bank and for the
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palestinian territories. there is mahmoud abbas, the palestinian president, at this midnight mass, because, of course, it was just a few weeks ago that the united nations gave the palestinians non observer status at the united nations general assembly, and the church of the nativity in bethlehem have recently been also in the past 12 months declared a unesco world heritage site, so we are well into the midnight mass which is being celebrated at churches all over the world, and as you can see, mahmoud abbas is there for this. live to the square. pitifully -- particularly significant that mahmoud abbas is there. would you normally go, or is it just this year? >> he would normally go to the midnight mass.
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he makes a point of attending. we also have the palestinian prime minister there as well. a whole host of dignitaries. it is actually pretty hard to get a ticket because the church of the nativity is very small with a crypt at the back, and they pack them in. obviously, many people want to go. about 70,000 people will have visited bethlehem by the end of the day, and those numbers are down from last year by about 40,000 or so. so concerned about the economy and tourism here. you can see behind me a magnificent scene. bethlehem is good during the day, but it really comes to life at night. >> how does this compare to the rest of the year, because we
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have talked about how important it is to the rest of the economy. >> well, they do not stay long. i was speaking to a travel agent, and he said by christmas day, most of them will have left, particularly by boxing day. one of the complaints is that more and more foreign visitors will stay in israel and jerusalem and then cross over just for the day, just for one night to stay may be, and so that concerns local businesses. in terms of the west bank and the palestinian territories, i was asking this travel agent, where else would you go? and he said jerricho, the world's oldest city is another place that people visit. there is obviously east jerusalem and the old city. one of the things he was saying that he might push in the future is walking, hiking, that sort of thing, activity holidays. >> all right, from manger
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square, thank you very much indeed. we will just show you briefly these pictures from the midnight mass. in many parts of the world, the 24th, the night before christmas really is the most important holy day of the year, and we can take you now to the vatican. pope benedict is holding a midnight mass at st. peter's basilica in the vatican. it is not yet midnight in italy, but because of the pope's health and to give him time to rest before he delivers the christmas day message, this year, the ceremony began at 9:00 gmt, and that would be 10:00 in italy, which was just about one hour ago. the pope conducting this mess and also lighting the candle of peace, which he did earlier and put on the balcony of his
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apartment window, which overlooks st. peter's square. this is one of the largest churches anywhere in the world. there are tourists and dignitaries and obviously lots of clergy as well. just to say that it is midnight mass even though is not midnight, but this will give the pope's some time to rest before he gives the christmas day speech from the balcony. let's have a look at some other news. a gun attack in the united states which has left others grieving, and two firefighters were killed as they responded to a blaze in upstate new york. the governor of new york state has called what happened in at the small town a senseless act of violence. it comes just 10 days after a shooting killed 26 people at a
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connecticut primary school. a report from washington. >> a fire in the early morning in a comfortable lakeside community. the phone call that brought forth small town firefighters to the blaze, and out of nowhere, a tragedy on christmas eve. >> all four firefighters were shot at the scene. one firefighter was able to flee the scene on his own, and the other three were p&l in the location. >> two firefighters died of their wounds at the fire, and it took an armored personnel carrier to evacuate residents. the town is distraught. >> it is a very difficult situation. >> a heightened awareness to this kind of violence in light of what happened in connecticut, and i just want everyone to remember that it is christmas eve. we have families who are in pain
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and crisis today. >> all week, they have been burying the dead in newtown, connecticut, and all week, the argument over the kind of guns available in america and the kind of people that can get all of them. it has gone back and forth. while the fire he said raged, the gunman killed himself. he had already spent 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother. as a convicted criminal, he was not allowed to possess firearms. a cold christmas awaits the families of two firefighters. bbc news, washington. >> in afghanistan, at least seven security officials including an american adviser have been killed by local police officers. in the first shooting, a policewoman opened fire inside the police headquarters, killing the americans. it is the first time a female member of the afghan services has turned on a member of the
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nato force. a report. >> the 33-year-old was a sergeant with the afghan national police, and earlier this morning, the woman shot and killed a civilian adviser. according to officials, she had planned to kill senior afghan officials but could not find any so shot the advisor instead. at the police headquarters, it is one of the most secure buildings in the city, and is close to the interior ministry, a as an officer, she had access to the entire building. in a separate incident in a northern province, a policeman shot six colleagues. women have been integral to the situation. she graduated from the national police academy six years ago, and she is married to a police
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officer. she is being held in police custody and is being investigated. afghan officials say they cannot exclude the possibility that she might have been recruited by al qaeda or the taliban. >> these are events that we are familiar with. we were very, very closely with our afghan partners. there are events that affect both, and we continue to work to mitigate them as much as possible. >> but such an attack is not familiar. this is the first time a female member of the afghan security forces have ever turned their guns against one of those they had befriended, and another ominous sign. as the data strategy to leave afghanistan by 2014 hinges entirely on local security forces being able to uphold the authority of the afghan state, bbc news, cool. -- kabul.
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>> freezing temperatures have claimed at least to wonder 20 lives this month. this is russia, where temperatures have fallen 15 degrees below average. in siberia, temperatures as much as -50 degrees celsius. over 80 people have died there. moscow expects temperatures to reach zero degrees celsius this coming thursday. you are watching "bbc world news." still to come, cutting christmas down to size. we will find out how it is changing china. is the season to engage in psychological warfare. and least, that is the accusation being made by north korea against its neighbors to the south, and it has to do with a christmas tree just west of seoul, korea, and the problem is that can be seen miles away in north korea.
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the north has threatened to the south with retaliation but has not said how exactly. children in one town have been given their christmas presents by elephant at their school. they enjoy the festivities. it is a regular feature of the town, but it was canceled because of flooding. now, when would you need an ax to go swimming? well, here is one example. this is north of the capital of berlin. they were breaking up the ice and then taking a dip. you are watching "bbc world news." these are our headlines. two firefighters have been killed and another wounded in new york state.
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it happened as they responded to a blaze. an aide to advisor has been killed in afghanistan, the first killing of its kind, shot by a woman in police uniform. and another six police dead. it is now more than one week since a student was gang raped on a bus in new delhi, and protests are continuing. the indian prime minister has made a televised appeal for calm. he said all efforts would be made to assure the safety of women. our bbc reporter. >> in the heart of delhi, protests. after a week of violence and attempts to gain control, the key government buildings are located here. after certain days of protests,
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making a public plea for calm. >> i am deeply sad that this is leading to clashes between protesters and the police forces. this crime was not justified, but violence will not serve. >> many feel the government has lost. especially after events over the weekend. police fired several rounds of tear gas and used water cannons to break up the protests. scores of people were injured on both sides. some were critically wounded. they were angry after the her with a gang rape last week, when a young woman was attacked so broadly, she is fighting for life. it goes beyond this one incident.
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people want a strong action from -- from thent's government. until then, they are prepared to keep the heat on. >> a delay until tuesday. the constitution in egypt was supposed to be passed, but now, the electoral commission says they will be looking at allegations of irregularities in the voting process. we were sent this report from cairo. >> egypt, on the brink of a new era. for weeks now, this country has been gripped by political turmoil. there is a lot at stake. egyptians have been waiting on a new constitution, and an early tally says more than 60% voted yes, but the result is not official yet. the guests of voters cannot get
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a victory for morsi and his supporters, and they say it will help egypt get back on track. >> there was not any blood spilled. the egyptian should be happy that it was approved. >> but it is very controversial. in the run-up to the referendum, of violent clashes broke out at the presidential palace in cairo. critics fear the charter could give islamists too much power. some are worried they will not be protected, and the opposition says it will continue to fight against the constitution. >> it defies a lot of the basic values, like freedom of expression, religion, so we are going to fight it, and one of our first platforms will be to abolish or of the very least amend the constitution.
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-- or at the very least abolished -- amend the constitution. >> they expect the crisis to end soon. >> it is not against the regime. that is very bad for the country -- country. we are losing almost 50 million american dollars a day, and the egyptian government is not strong enough. >> many egyptians are tired of the political upheaval. looking to bring civility. others are afraid the country could be moving towards an islamic state. egypt is deeply divided about its future. bbc news, cairo. >> the former president of south africa, nelson mandela, is said to be spending christmas in the hospital. he was admitted two weeks ago because of a lung infection, but
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while in the hospital, he was also treated for gallstones, and doctors say he is not quite ready to be allowed home. we resent this update from johannesburg. >> nelson mandela was admitted to the hospital, and now, it appears he will not be discharged in time for christmas. he is being treated for a lung infection in one week ago underwent a procedure to remove gall stones, but other than that, there is very little. jacob zuma has visited him several times and said that his condition had been serious but betty is responding to treatment. nonetheless, there is anxiety, because this is the longest time that nelson mandela has spent in the hospital. they have urged to keep him in thoughts and prayers. he is still seen by many as the
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father of the nation, and there is a huge amount of global interest in nelson mandela and concern about his health because he is still seen as a world icon. >> in macedonia, a rejection from parliament for brawling. a campaign of civil disobedience following a disagreement about the size of the budget. there were thousands of demonstrators that clashed outside of parliament in the capital. now, to a man that is seen as one of the most divisive characters in the media. many now think he has gone too far. they are calling to have more been deported from the united states, the by thousands of americans, all because of his views advocating gun control after the newtown, connecticut, massacre, that killed 26 people.
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some hit back, saying he was attacking the right of american citizens. and some are meeting the president for the second day on a visit to damascus. there was no indication of progress towards a negotiated solution to the conflict, it was said the constitution situation is still going. a report. >> a small corner of the violence that is ravaging syria every day. this is the look at a town in the north. activists maimed seven women -- named seven women and two children they say died in the rubble after bombs were dropped by aircraft. there was even greater carnage further south. a town was attacked by rebels just a few days earlier, and activists said the regime struck back with jets, firing rockets at a bread line near the bakery. the regime said its army struck
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back at rebel fighters year, killing and injuring many of them. hardly a good moment for the peace envoy to be visiting damascus in search of a solution. whatever may have emerged in his talks with bashar al assad, he was not giving much away. >> i briefed the president about my meetings and talks with officials in the region and beyond and about the steps i think i necessary to help the syrian people come out of this crisis. the situation in syria remains worrying. we hope all parties will be able to find a solution that meets the aspirations and hopes of the syrian people. >> as the regime loses ever more ground to the rebels, there is fear it may resort to everything in its arsenal. there are unproven allegations
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that it is using some form of gas on the battlefront. activists say seven rebels have died from it with dozens of others affected. it smells like phosphorus, this one says. "it suffocates you. it makes you feel like your eyes are popping out, and the smell is unbearable." these weapons are unquestionably been used as the rebels are gaining more and more ground, but there is still fighting to do before they can get power in damascus, where the regime is showing no public sign of being ready to give up. bbc news, be read. >> now, some rather alarming news. apparently, the festivity is shrinking. according to chinese factories that make up so much of the world's festive decorations. we have been to a factory town to see the effect of falling global demand.
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>> by some estimates, this factory town in eastern china makes half of all of the christmas decorations sold around the world. but the ongoing global financial crisis means foreign buyers are changing their habits. of course, taller, factor trees are more expensive, so this year, they say they have noticed a jump in orders for shorter, thinner trees, as europe and america have themselves a slightly more frugal christmas. across the industry, sales are expected to fall 15% compared with last year, so the businesses that are doing best are the ones that can adapted to the new reality. this luxury plastic tree used to be popular, but this year, this factory boss tells me the thinner trees account to a to
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two-thirds of sales to his european customers. it is not just trees. some factories report that foreign customers are buying smaller bobbles, too. amid the gloom, the chinese christmas factories are looking for sales in a surprising place, the domestic market. more and more people are following christmas traditions and others. this man tells me, "i want to set up my own christmas decorations store one day." as europe and america become, well, a little more scrooge like, they need their own people to be the source of glad tidings for christmases to come. bbc news. >> well, china, the country has been giving the song "gangnam
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style" a bit of a makeover. >> at this be marked -- at this theme-park. that song is a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our
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relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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- hi, neighbour! tonight, my babysitter prince tuesday is coming over to take care of me. and then we're going to school with all of our friends! i'm so glad you're here with me. and, i'll be right back! is made possible in part by... the richard king mellon foundation. dedicated for over sixty years to south western pennsylvania's quality of life, and competitive future. and by these pittsburg foundations. working together to enhance and enrich the lives of children for more than seventy-five years. and by the arthur vining davis foundations. dedicated to strengthening america's future through education.
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adcasting, dedicated to strengthening america's future and contributions to your pbs station, from viewers like you. in the neighbourhood ♪ and contributions to your pbs station, ♪ a beautiful day for a neighbour ♪ ♪ would you be mine? ♪ could you be mine? ♪ won't you be my neighbour? - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ a la of make-believe ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ so much to do, so much to see ♪ ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ i've got lots of friends for you to meet ♪ ♪ in this land of make-believe ♪ a friendly face on every street ♪ just waiting to greet you ♪ it's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood ♪ ♪ a beautiful day for a neighbour ♪ ♪ in daniel tiger's neighborhood! ♪ grr! hi, neighbour!
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grr! i'm daniel tiger, and this is tigey! grr! we're playing jungle! (chattering) want to play? put on your binoculars like this. ooh! there's my jungle cave! (chuckling) and the jungle river! (roaring) - and i am a jungle alligator! - daddy-gator! yeah! (both laughing) - look, daniel. prince tuesday is here. - hi there, prince tuesday. - hi, prince tuesday. - hey! - are you here to babysit me? - i sure am, little d! - that's right! because mom tiger and i are going out dancing. ha-cha-chaaaa! (mom tiger laughing) - dad and i will be gone for a little while, and prince tuesday will take care of you until we come back home.